cover image The Illyrian Adventure

The Illyrian Adventure

Lloyd Alexander. Dutton Books, $13.95 (14pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44250-9

With this new novel, Alexander adds another delightful adventure to his many popular and award-winning books. (His Prydain Cycle was adapted for the recent Disney movie, The Black Cauldron.) This time, the intrepid protagonist is 16-year-old Vesper Holly. She's a precocious orphan from Philadelphia who sets out to prove her scholarly father's theories about the national legend of Illyria, a small Adriatic nation. It is 1872 and Illyria's ethnic conflict is brewing into a revolution. Vesper is caught up in the intrigue, and proves a shrewd and valiant ally. She reconciles the king and the rebel leader, thereby preventing a war, and in the bargain finds the historical evidence she seeks. The appealing characters and the nice blend of challengesintellectual and moral as well as physical are matched by lively storytelling. (1014)